19 December 2016

AFM Christmas - part 3 - Gingerbread Houses (and various other structures)

And then there was the Gingerbread House Contest....

Eli and the other 6th grade boys.  I like the team work and creativity...I do believe they may have been the first group to finish (but it wasn't a race)...

KJ and the Cash Girls.  I appreciate KJ's willingness to let it be the creative, fun, messy, sugar filled event that it's intended to be.  I'm very impressed with the structural stability of their house (and the cultural stability as well). 
A Few Other Favorites

Surely there will be more to come.

AFM Christmas - part 2 - Cookies & Crafts & Community

Christmas Cookie Bake
The best way to bake Christmas cookies...the dough is ready made by the galley...you just roll it out, cut it out (with whatever cookie cutters you can happen to get your hands on..dinosaurs, sailboats and dog bones included) and put it on the tray that is magically whisked away  bycookie fairies and baked...the tray is brought back with the cookies ready to be iced with icing that's been prepared for us!  I don't think it can get any easier... 
photo credit: jasper

Christmas Craft Night

Another incredibly delightful event.  20+ Christmas Crafts right at our finger tips...we just show up and create.  HUGE thanks to Shelly for coming up with the crafts, procuring the materials and lining up volunteers to run each station.  
photo credit: carol
photo credit: not sure...but not me

Community Performances & Such
The elementary kids have worked hard under Ms. Beth's leadership to prepare and perform multiple songs throughout the Advent Season.  There's something about children singing that has Christmas written all over it (especially when they are singing Christmas songs).  

Ms. Beth also taught the Kindergarten and Grade 1 Students a set of verses that they shared throughout the ship on Friday:

And just last night, 8 of the elementary girls lead us in worship as they danced to "Come and Worship."  A definite highlight of our Christmas.  Tremendous thanks to Ms. Suzanne for investing in them with her love and talent.
photo credit: beth

photo credit: KJ
Surely there will be more to come.

AFM Christmas - part 1 - Sinter Klaas, Winter Wonderland & Santa Lucia

Christmas time is here...happiness and cheer....

AFM Christmases have proven to be some of the best times on the ship these past 4 1/2 years.  This year is no exception!  Here's the beginning of a blog blitz of some of our favorite moments from the past few weeks...mainly pictures with a bit of explanation.

Sinter Klaas
The Dutch Tradition of Sinter Klaas!  He is supposed to arrive "by steamer" but this year Sinter Klaas arrived in Management Vehicle style (lucky guy - he didn't even have to have his temperature taken at the gate or wash his hands before coming aboard!).  Sinter Klaas and his helpers pass out presents to the children (and throw out the the delicious pepernoten - looks like dog food...but it sure isn't).

Winter Wonderland
Definitely the AFM shopping experience of the year! (I prefer to sit back and watch! Can you spot me in the 2nd picture?)  Dozens of crew set up tables selling all sorts of lovely items - our favorite tend to be the edible ones...Mama Agnes' homemade waffle cones (4th picture down) are always a winner in the Cash Family.

Santa Lucia
This is the one that always makes me cry.  The Scandanavian Tradition of Santa Lucia - the Feast of Saint Lucy - the Festival of Lights!  It's so beautiful...(tearing up just thinking about it!).  All of our crew from Sweden, Denmark and Norway (and any crew from other places with Scandanavian roots), dress in white and carry candles while singing traditional songs.  I hope the video works so you can get a taste of one of our favorite ship traditions...

Surely there will be more to come.

07 December 2016

the month that was November...

You may need to get your face close to the screen in order to see the numbers and words and pictures...but we wanted to share what's been going on in the Hospital of the Africa Mercy - what YOU'VE been a part of...

Amazing numbers.  Even more amazing?  The lives behind each and every number.  The patient served...the crew member serving...the families forever changed...the hope and healing experienced in very real and tangible ways.  And even MORE amazing?  Our One True God who sees and knows each and every single one...

Surely there will be more to come.